6 Exercises to Help Improve Text Neck
Circuits and Microchips
We live in an age of great technological advances. Technology allows us to become more productive and efficient in the workplace, make difficult tasks easier, and connect us with millions of people around the world. In spite of all the marvels that technology can provide from social connections to medical advancements, it can also hurt your body in Friendswood over time.
Personal computers first became popular for the American home in the 1980's. In 1983, the first Mobile Phones was released for sale. The first text message was sent by developer Neil Papworth in 1992. Since that time, cell phone technology, increase of reliability, and text messaging has grown exponentially, particularly among today's youth.
Let's look at some other statistics. According to www.teckst.com, 6 billion text messages are sent each day in the U.S. In 2012, American's sent 69,000 texts per second, and the average adult spends 23 hours per week sending text messages.
7 Symptoms of "Text Neck"
Unfortunately, because of the positions that computer and cellphone use places the body, it can cause significant changes to your posture over time. Some problems that may arise is a forward head, or decreased curvature in the cervical spine, and rounding of the shoulders causing a forward posture, weakening necessary muscles in the back of the torso to help keep us upright.
What does this mean for our health? A forward posture can put pressure on the exiting spinal nerves through the Neck, mid to upper back or Thoracic Spine, and through the chest where a cluster of nerves, called the Brachial Plexus, passes through. Symptoms can include:
- Migraines and Headaches
- Muscle Spasms and Weakness
- Tingling/Numbness of the Arm and Hand (Carpal Tunnel-like Symptoms)
- Poor Breathing
- Poor Digestion
- General Pain and Discomfort of the Joints and Muscles
The next question is: what can we do to prevent these issues and teach our youth positive habits to prevent deterioration of the posture
Prevention in 3 Steps
The first step toward prevention is becoming more consciously aware of what position your body is in. If you are constantly looking down at a computer or a cellphone or allow your body to slouch during work, this could put you at risk. Here's some tips for good posture:
- Keep both feet on the floor when at the computer. Avoid crossing the legs.
- Maintain an upright posture when typing, avoiding excessive foward leaning of the torso. The body should be upright and the key board should be no higher or lower than elbow-level.
- Keep computer screens at eye-level and avoid excessively turning the head up or down when typing. If using the cell phone, keep the phone at eye level and avoid slumping the shoulders and looking down.
- Finally, if you believe you already suffer from a poor posture, there are things you can do!
6 Exercises To Correct "Text Neck"
Performing simple stretches and exercises periodically throughout the day can reduce progression and symptoms associated with a poor posture. Here's what you can do:
- Stretch the muscles of the shoulders (Upper Trapezius). Relax and drop the shoulder blades and bring the ear to the shoulder. To increase this stretch, you may place the side of the shoulder stretched behind the back or reach to the side.
- Stretch the muscles in the back of the neck and shoulder blade (Levator Scapulae). This stretch is performed by relaxing and dropping the shoulders, then rolling the nose down toward the arm pit. Increasing the stretch may be done by placing the stretched side behind the back or reaching to the side.
- Perform a wall stretch for the muscles in the Chest (Pectoralis). Using an entry of a doorway, bring the arm at 90 degrees, elbow in line with the shoulder. Drop and relax the shoulders. Step forward to increase the stretch. Keep the torso upright with the shoulders even. Next, bring the elbow at ear level and continue the stretch.
- Strengthen the Muscles on the Front of the Neck (Deep Cervical Flexors). While sitting upright, place one palm on the forehead. Gently press the forehead into the palm and do not allow it to move. This exercise can also be performed using a light-weight medicine ball against a wall.
- Drop, Set, and Hold the Shoulder Blades (Lower Trapezius). Sit upright. Allow the chest to rise as you drop and relax your shoulders. Finally, depress the shoulder blades downward. You should feel the muscles below the shoulder blades working.
- Perform Core Abdominal strengthening. Begin on the floor on the hands an knees. Lower yourself onto the forearms. Lift the feet off the ground and squeeze the abdominals with your belly button going in 2" toward your spine. The hips should not be allowed to drop into excessive arching of the back. Hold. More advanced variations can be performed on the toes, by extending the legs, or performing a full plank with the legs and elbows extended.
Whether you're a beginner or accustomed to working out, these simple exercises can challenge muscles that support good posture, helping you feel better.
If you're currently experiencing neck pain or see a decrease in movement, Forever Well Chiropractic invites you to come in for a 30 minute Consultation with Dr. Haywood, here in Friendswood Texas. He can determine the root cause of neck pain and perform modalities to not only provide relief but also correct and prevent progression of chronic pain.